How important do you think it is for British companies to establish commercial relationships with local or regional companies?
I believe that British companies are increasingly pursuing such opportunities; collaborating with regional companies to enter the Kurdistan market via a joint venture is a logical way for our companies to facilitate the development of the Region. For example, in the last 2 years, there have been a number of meetings that brought together British and Turkish companies in Istanbul. We may pursue similar opportunities with UAE companies. We feel that the experience and regional familiarity of British companies makes them attractive partners for international companies examining the Kurdistan market. We feel that all of these factors give us even more leverage to be able to identify the commercial opportunities available.
Is there any misconception among the British business community regarding the security situation in Kurdistan?
Unfortunately, there is. The popular image of Iraq is not very positive and the security situation outside of Kurdistan affects activities here negatively. However, our travel advice regarding the Kurdistan Region is very clear; we consistently encourage people to come to the Region, regardless of whether they’re coming for business or tourism. In our experience, every company that comes here to see the situation inevitably comes back once they see firsthand the stability and strength of the Kurdistan Region.